Nineteen bikers took to the Tsalteshi Trails on a wet Saturday afternoon for 10 miles of racing, although they didn’t spend the whole race on the actual trails.
In the true spirit of the race name, the second annual Psychocross event included almost every mile of trail that makes up the Tsalteshi Trails, but also featured a few off-road, bushwhacking shortcuts that had competitors scrambling for space.
“Awesome, it’s crazy,” said third-place finisher Tanner Best.
“They lived up to it,” said runner-up Jordan Theisen. “I thought we were just going to hit Bear and stay on all these nice little trails. We were in the swamp almost.”
As for the winner, Adam Reimer, he’s happy that organizer Mike Crawford was able to draw up a course that kept it interesting, since he spent nearly the whole time by himself out front.
“(Crawford) used several trails that I’ve never done before. He did a nice job of making it interesting for sure,” Reimer said. “I had to get off my bike twice, because there were places that I couldn’t ride. At least once, someone had to point me in the right direction.”
Reimer finished in a time of 58 minutes, 14 seconds, the only rider under an hour. Theisen finished 4:07 behind Reimer.
The course began with a precariously steep (considering the weather conditions) downhill into the soccer fields, then disappeared into the woods for the Squirrel and Owl loops, which is where Reimer said he took the lead.
From there the race course utilized the Wolf, Fox, Bear, Wolverine, Raven and Weasel loops before finishing with a final push up the long uphill to the Tsalteshi sign.
“I guess the differences is that there’s so many different kinds of trails,” Reimer said. “There’s really technical single-track trails, there’s wide-open places, and a lot of it is backward. Even if you’ve been out here a lot, it can still get you confused. I’m a creature of habit, so doing some trails backward today was different for me.”
Soldotna High School junior Sadie Fox prevailed as the top women’s finisher, biking to a time of 1:13:46, good for 11th overall. Angie Brennan finished 6:35 behind Fox for second, and she was not the only one to come across the line with mud splattered across her legs.
“On the steep hill down there, I think my back tire started sliding, and I over-corrected a bit too much and I went down,” Brennan said. “I was having a blast. I’ve always seen those little offshoots and I wonder what’s over there, but I don’t usually check them out, so it was fun to play around on them.”
Crawford, a website designer, is known around the community to invent new course maps that challenge even the most gifted biker.
“That’s part of the charm, really,” Crawford said. “I like to try to explore some of the alternative trails. I had to do some last-minute changes since there were a few downed trees.”
Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails
1. Adam Reimer, 58 minutes 14 seconds; 2. Jordan Theisen, 1:02:21; 3. Tanner Best, 1:05:15; 4. Wilbur Nelson, 1:06:35; 5. Tony Eskelin, 1:06:45; 6. Peter DiCarlo, 1:08:15; 7. John Mark Pothast, 1:10:47; 8. Jamie Nelson, 1:12:40; 9. Addison Downing, 1:12:44; 10. John Pothast, 1:12:47; 11. Sadie Fox, 1:13:46; 12. Angie Brennan, 1:20:21; 13. Laura Pillifant, 1:21:12; 14. Will Morrow, 1:24:23; 15. Hannah Pothast, 1:26:09; 16. Dan Harbison, 1:27:06; 17. Laura Mohorcich, 1:36:18; 18. John Mohorcich, 1:36:18; 19. Carmen Stephl, 1:47:53.